Before you think brand or business name, before you start dreaming of logos and business cards, you need to know if your business idea is viable. Your business needs to meet one of two criteria:
- Does it meet an unmet want or desire for potential customers/clients?
- Does it solve an unsolved problem for potential customers/clients?
Then you need to ask yourself some important questions and do some internal review:
- Do you have the drive, stamina and financial resources to risk failure?
- Do you have experience in the industry you are considering?
- Can you narrow down your market to your “ideal customer” and get a niche?
- Have you done (or are you willing to do) your research?
- Is it something you are going to enjoy doing for some time?
Then, of course, you need to find out what other people think of the idea and what similar businesses already exist. Obviously, Internet research will be a significant resource but also be sure to read books about both your industry and business trends, set up a simple survey on your Web site or blog and consider hiring a market research firm to do some polling and testing.
If you are considering a bricks and mortar store, shop your competitors. See what they do right and wrong. One of your problem solved! moments could be in simple customer service. Are wait times too long? Does the business not cross market a variety of products and services well? Is there a real need for a similar business with a better model?
There is no guarantee for success. At some point, you have to take a leap of faith. One half of small businesses fail by their fourth year, but this means HALF OF SMALL BUSINESSES SUCCEED. Don’t be discouraged by numbers. This country was built on the shoulders of small business owners.
There is help for new and existing small business owners. Take a few moments to spend with us on a free 30-minute consultation call. We can help you decide if your business idea will catch fire!
by Steven Schlagel